Def 1: A contingent being is a being such that if it exists, could have not-existed or could cease to exist.
Def 2: A necessary being (or non-contingent being) is a being such that if it exists, cannot not-exist (and therefore could not not-have-existed and cannot cease to exist).
Note: I use ground-reason essentially to do the work of the German Grund, a word which neither the English “ground” nor “reason” sufficiently captures in meaning, since it unites the sides of being and knowing, the ontological and the epistemological, in one.
Sy Garte discusses how raised as a red diaper baby, he over came his childhood indoctrination to embrace Christianity. His study of science in graduate school made him question the Markist/atheist beliefs his parents raised him with. You can listen to the entire interview here.
Editor’s note: this is our first letter in what we hope to be an ongoing series. Thanks Steve B, for your thoughtful email!
But [..my letter..] does concern your fine, interesting show, which provides a refreshing break from the shallow reductionist materialism of most of your opposing counterparts. The show’s take-no-prisoners, gruff approach, I feel, is exactly what the doctor ordered as a reply to the aggressiveness of so many of the “new” atheists. One issue I’d like to bring up is the question of how to communicate the idea of non-material reality to those who claim that matter is a universal fact of being, a stance, which by nature, cannot allow for the existence of, and evidence for, spiritual realities, entities, and “realms”.
Escaping Atheism stated mission, in addition to using swear words on a regular basis, is to an attempt to help people ‘escape atheism’. But what do we even mean by atheism?
To avoid pointless dictionary thumping, these are the definitions of important words at the Escaping Atheism project. If you can use these words as defined, welcome! We know what it’s like to honestly wonder if there’s no God. If you can’t use these words as defined here, well, expect to be cussed at some point.